“I’ve got some great news for you!”
By Miriam and Jonny Potts, and Sean Wood
Ginika’s text finished tantalisingly: “I’ve got some great news for you!” and agonisingly, Miriam Potts (an Agapé UK staff member in Newcastle) had to wait until she got to meet up with Ginika later that week to finally hear her story.
Ginika has been an Agapé UK Student Leader for a couple of years now, is studying at Newcastle University, and is a keen basketball player. She had been speaking with her friend, Dave, her sports psychologist, about faith and Jesus for months, and Miriam and her friends had been praying for Ginika and her conversations with Dave. Ginika had shared her story with Dave, about how and why she began following Jesus; Dave shared his own worldview with Ginika, and they both asked each other honest questions.
When Ginika talked about following God’s will vs. her own will, Dave asked her in return, “So what is God’s will?”. Even when Ginika felt that she’d jumped too quickly into one conversation, to ask Dave: “What’s stopping you from becoming a Christian?” to her amazement, he wasn’t put off.
Finally, just after Easter, when Ginika asked that same question again, Dave shared that he felt he could only be in a church building to follow Jesus. Ginika encouraged Dave that, in fact, there is nothing that stops us from taking the decision to follow Jesus right where we are – right here, right now!
That’s one of the reasons why Jesus died: so that we can have direct access to God, when we talk – or pray – to Jesus. That was why the tearing in half, from top to bottom, of the giant curtain in the Temple in Jerusalem (Mark 15:38) at the precise moment Jesus died on the cross, was so symbolic. The curtain used to separate the Holy of Holies (the place in the Temple where God’s presence was) from the rest of the Temple, and its removal symbolises that we can now have direct access to God through Jesus; we don’t need to be in a special place or building.
At the end of the conversation, Dave agreed to follow Ginika through a simple prayer to start his life afresh with Jesus! The two are now meeting up to go through Connect together – a series of Bible studies, written by Agapé UK, for new Christians or those just interested in finding out more about what the Bible says about how we can connect with God.